THS girls soccer beats Ward, reaches regional final
Chieftains to host Piper Friday
The Tonganoxie High girls soccer team carried its recent success into the postseason, handing Bishop Ward an 8-1 defeat in Tuesday’s regional opener.
The fourth-seeded Chieftains (8-8-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half and never looked back. The victory was their third in as many meetings with the Cyclones this season.
THS struggled to find the net in the first several minutes, but sophomore Emily Soetaert hit paydirt midway through the opening period. Soetaert scored again and junior Molly Welsh followed suit a few minutes later, and the rout was on.
“We were a little bit slow (in the beginning). We looked good, but we just weren’t getting the results,” coach Justin Seever said. “We finally cracked through when Emily scored. It could have gotten out of hand in the first 15 minutes.”
BWHS (2-13-1) scored on a penalty kick to make it 3-1 at the break. The Chieftains put their sixth straight victory on ice shortly after intermission, reeling off four goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
With the game well in hand, Seever used the remainder of the contest to get his reserves some extended playing time.
“We just kept plugging away,” Seever said. “We could have kept putting it on, but I wanted to get everyone some minutes.”
With the win, THS advances to the regional championship game. It will play host to No. 5 seed Piper (8-8-1) at 5 p.m. Friday. The Pirates reached the finals Monday with a 3-2 victory over Baldwin. The Chieftains traveled April 9 to PHS, and the game ended in a scoreless tie.
The teams ended the regular season with identical records, prompting a coin toss to decide regional seeding. Seever’s squad won the toss, ultimately guaranteeing home field advantage for Friday’s rematch.
“It’s going to be huge because they’re a turf team,” Seever said. “We feel like they’ll have to come in and adjust to our game. We had a good crowd Tuesday and I expect we’ll have an even bigger crowd on Friday for the championship game. What more could you ask for than that?”
The winner will advance to the state quarterfinals, which are set for May 22.